Week of: December 17, 2012
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Delicious Dessert That’s Unpronounceable
By Dana Jacobi
for the American Institute for Cancer Research
On my first trip to Denmark I stayed with a family in Aarhus. My hostess, Mrs. Anderson, made typically Danish food – simple and fresh but sometimes bland. One dessert she made though, a red fruit pudding, was bliss.
Danes, I discovered, love serving this dessert to visitors. Justly proud of it as a delicious dish, they insist on making guests pronounce its name, Rødgrød Med Fløde, and then enjoy the mangled result. If you are not Danish, forget about wrapping your lips around its constricted vowels. Just say tak (thank you) and keep eating.
Rødgrød refers to the pudding part of this dessert, made using the juice from red fruits, traditionally fresh raspberries and currants, which are boiled down to the fruits’ essence, then thickened using cornstarch or potato starch to make them spoonable. Med fløde means “with cream.” Not a flood, but a few spoonfuls of light cream. The cool liquid makes the soft pudding feel like velvet in your mouth and adds a perfect taste contrast to the lightly sweetened fruit. (Heavy whipping cream or half-and-half will not have the same effect.)
Red Berry Pudding made the authentic way starts with several quarts of fresh fruit, meaning it costs a fortune. Cooking, straining, then cooking down the strained fruit takes ages. So I have created this easier version. Using frozen raspberries and strawberries, it has the same glowing color, creamy texture and intense fruit flavor, plus it is financially sensible.
Even bliss does have a price though. Defrosting and bringing the fruit to room temperature yields the most juice and flesh but it means advance planning. Pushing the berries through a strainer is physical work. Think of it as earning the calories to enjoy the result.
Served in small glass bowls, Red Berry Pudding is pretty at brunch as well as for dessert. During the holidays, its red and white colors make it nice to present while trimming the tree.
Red Berry Pudding with Cream
- 1 (10-oz) bag frozen raspberries, defrosted, at room temperature
- 1 (16-oz) bag frozen strawberries, defrosted, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
- 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds, optional, for garnish
- 1/4 cup light cream, chilled
Set sieve over mixing bowl. Pour defrosted fruits and their juices into strainer. Dip out 3 tablespoons of combined juices and put in small bowl. Whisk cornstarch into berry juice mixture until smooth. Set mixture aside.
Using a wooden spoon, push defrosted berries through strainer. Occasionally scrape pureed fruit on outside of strainer into bowl using a flexible spatula. When mashed pulp clings in a ball inside strainer, discard it. Measure pureed fruit and juices (there will be about 2 cups) and pour into heavy, medium stainless steel or other non-reactive saucepan. Add cornstarch mixture and 1/3 cup sugar to pot and stir to combine.
Set pot over medium-high heat and cook, whisking frequently, until berry mixture thickens and looks glossy, about 5 minutes in total, taking care not to let it boil. Divide hot pudding among 4 small dessert dishes rinsed in cold water and drained but not dried. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of remaining sugar over top of each serving to prevent a skin from forming. Or, pour pudding into one large serving bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Let pudding sit until it is room temperature. Cover and refrigerate to chill. This dessert keeps, covered in refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
To serve, sprinkle sliced almonds over top of pudding, if using. Spoon 1 tablespoon of cream over each serving, or pour cream into a small pitcher and pass it separately.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 206 calories, 3 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 45 g carbohydrate,
2 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 9 mg sodium.
Something Different is written by Dana Jacobi, author of 12 Best Foods Cookbook and contributor to AICR’s New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $96 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.
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